Course code: TAM303
Course name: Spirituality and Spiritual formation
Academic year: 2020–2021
Credits: 15 ECTS Credits
Single subject: No
Required prerequisite knowledge
The basic educational pathway is an obtained bachelor–s degree with 80 ECTS specialization in theology and with a grade average of C or higher (ECTS). Language requirements apply as for the entire Master program. For details and alternative pathways, see the curriculum for Master in Theology and Ministry.
Recommended prerequisite knowledge
2 years of experience from Ministry or Church practice.
Relevance within study programme
Compulsory course in Master in Theology and Ministry.
This course offers introduction to spirituality from three perspectives: Contextual: Encountering spirituality as a phenomenon in contemporary culture. Historical: Encountering writings from and about important spiritual traditions. Personal: Encounter spiritual formation as a means of personal formation.
Semester of Education: Spring. Exception for academic year 2020-2021: Autumn.
Learning outcomes descriptors
- has fundamental knowledge about the academic field of spirituality
- has fundamental knowledge about spirituality as a phenomenon in contemporary society
- has specialized knowledge about various traditions of Christian spirituality
- has thorough knowledge about effects of experiences and context in early childhood for spiritual life.
- has insights into spirituality as a phenomenon in late modern society
- can analyze the role of spirituality on the basis of the Church's history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society
- can analyze the relationships between biographical narratives, faith, self, and theology
- can discern and reflect upon central methods and phenomena in spiritual formation
- can reflect critically and constructively on matters of spirituality for personal, professional, and scholarly development
- is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of research on spirituality in order to design a limited research project of his/her own
- can relate to professional ethical problems relevant for spiritual formation in a reflexive manner
- can use knowledge and skills about spiritual formation for personal growth in limited assignments
- is a capable conversation partner in ministry
- can communicate independent work and masters language and terminology of the area of spirituality
- can participate in scholarly discourses about spirituality and spiritual formation in academia, the church, and in wider society
- can contribute to a renewed reflection on the role of spirituality in society and ministry
TAM303 focuses in on how Spiritual formation is framed an understood in history and how certain traditions of spiritual direction is recontextualized and brought to life in contemporary spirituality. The course also provides perspectives on how personal formation could be understood as a process of psychology, personal narratives, modern society and theology. A third area of attention is on spirituality as phenomenon in contemporary society and its relation to organized religion.
Teaching and learning methods
Two weeklong learning sessions on campus comprised of lectures, group-seminars, and case-based classes.
Participation in an online learning-program stretching over eight weeks before and between the learning sessions. Each week is comprised of at least one video-lecture, self study of syllabus related to the week–s topic, online office hour (a live-chat with a lecturer), and a small assignment (coursework requirement).
- 80% attendance at the learning session is a requirement. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending).
- 8 minor online assignments. (Alternative submission deadline may occasionally be approved)
Grading, coursework requirements
Final assessment in TAM303 is the subject of one Term Paper. This is a written essay comprised of 5000 words (+/- 20%) on a pre-assigned topic. The assignment is distributed at the beginning of the term, and is to be delivered for feedback prior to the second learning session. After revision, final submission of the Term Paper is on a given deadline after the second learning session. The Term Paper is an individual piece of work and is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale.
Permitted aids under examination
The Term Paper is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale, A-F.
Alternatively, one of the Scandinavian languages.
Other languages could be accepted by application.
Students will be encouraged to evaluate the course module online (itslearning) upon completion. Lecturers will evaluate the course module through mutual conversation, and based on student evaluations.
Available for Course Students
Reading list and academic resources
Subject to changes
Total number of pages: 1100
Barry, William and William Connolly (2009). The Practice of Spiritual Direction 2. Rev Upd Edition. HarperOne
Bianchi, Enzo. Words of spirituality: Exploring the inner life. London: SPCK Publishing, 2012, 2nd ed.
Chryssavgis, John (2008). In the heart of the desert, Revised: The spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Bloomington IN: World wisdom.
Endean, Philip. "Spirituality and Theology." In The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake, 74-79. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.
Heelas, Paul, and Linda Woodhead. The spiritual revolution: Why religion is giving way to spirituality. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publ., 2005.
Hoffman, Bengt R. Theology of the heart: The role of mysticism in the theology of Martin Luther. Minneapolis, Minn: Kirk House, 2003.
Lesniak, Valerie. "Contemporary Spirituality." In The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake, 7-12. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.
McGinn, Bernard. "Mysticism." In The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake, 19-25. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.
Rizzuto, Ana-Maria (1979). The birth of the living God: A psychoanalytic study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Schneiders, Sandra M. "Christian Spirituality: Definition, Methods and Types." In The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake, 1-6. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.
Shea, John. "Spirituality, Psychology and Psychotherapy." In The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake, 49-54. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.
Sheldrake, P. (2013). Spirituality: A brief history (2nd ed., Wiley-Blackwell brief histories of religion). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
White, Susan J. "Spirituality, Liturgy and Worship." In The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, edited by Philip Sheldrake, 44-48. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.